Here's a guided tour of my tool backpack all set up and ready to rock:
The free Grasshopper package will continue to be available as is. But the Apprentice and Professional Appliantologist packages have been upgraded and, incredibly, made even better... as if that was even possible, right?
For starters, the free Apprenticeship package using the Facebook coupon promotion has ended. It was starting to take up too much of my time going back and forth with people because they couldn't figure out how to do a screenshot, or share the coupon on their Facebook wall, or whatever. Then I had people who had gotten the free Apprenticeship complaining about the file download quotas or outright lying about how much they downloaded (as if I can't check that). And I wanna send out a special thanks to all the folks who sent me nasty, snarky emails because I was using Facebook for the free deal. Bless their hearts!
So, like Daniel in Babylon, I saw the writing on the wall and realized the free Apprenticeship deal had become a time-sucking, headache-inducing liability that seemed to bring out the worst in people. Yea verily, it's outta here. Now it's time to focus on bringing even more awesomeness to the Apprentice and Appliantologist programs!
Both the Apprenticeship and Professional Appliantologist packages have been upgraded in every way imaginable!
Apprentice Package: The download quotas for files from the vast and ever-growing library of technical documents in the Downloads section have increased FROM 3 files/day, 6/week, 9/month TO 4/day, 8/week, and a whopping 20/month! It is still not auto-renewing because it's intended for DIYers who probably just need help on a pressing problem or two at home and then they're done with appliance repair until the next thing breaks. But you can manually renew as often as you like. The fee on the Apprenticeship package has increased by a mere $2, from $10 to $12, for the same two-month term.
Professional Appliantologist Package: The download quotas have also been increased FROM 10 files/day, 20/week, 80/month TO 15/day, 30/week, and an incredible, eye-popping 100/month! It still includes access to the world-famous and coveted Repair Manual Stash™. The Professional Appliantologist package is an auto-renewing subscription package because, as the name implies, it's intended for techs who fix appliances for a living and so would need on-going repair help either in the forums or from reference material in the Downloads section. The fee on the Professional Appliantologist package has increased by 10 measly beans, from $55/year to $65/year.
If you subscribed to the Professional Appliantologist package at the old price of $55/year, your annual subscription fee will not change as long as you do not cancel your subscription. And you still get the benefit of the increased file download quotas. How's that for value?
I'm always looking for ways to increase value for my valued users here at Appliantology and, with your help, will continue to improve the premiere appliance repair resource on the web!
Although there are still a few folks who haven't gotten the memo yet, most people understand that there ain’t no Kenmore factory in Malaysia or some place. The Kenmore “factory” is several floors in an office building where corporate bureaucrats from Sears schmooze with other corporate bureaucrats from real manufacturing companies, like Whirlpool or Electrolux or LG, and get them to make their stuff for them and slap a Kenmore label on it.
"So what?" you say, "I like Sears and I don't mind spending my money with them." Well, there's more. Check this out and see if you still feel so sure…
Kenmore is essentially a marketing gimmick that Sears uses to sell you appliances at a higher profit margin. The Kenmore game is this: sell you a Kenmore-branded appliance, sell you an extended warranty on the appliance or, even if you don't buy the extended warranty, get you to call them when (not if) it breaks, and to sell you replacement parts and accessories for the appliance. It's a complete package designed to keep you on the Kenmore plantation, spending your money exclusively with Sears.
This wouldn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as you are aware of this scheme and a willing participant, if there weren't other downsides to Sears inserting themselves between the customer and the original equipment manufacturer ("OEM") of the appliance.
Downside No. 1: The Kenmore Information Blockade
It is difficult if nigh on impossible to cross over the Kenmore model number to that of the OEM's version of the same machine. This means if you or an independent servicer would like to work on your Kenmore machine, you cannot easily access the manufacturer's service bulletins or manuals, which may leave you at the mercy of Sears "service." Most people don't like to limit their options that way, particularly given Sear's service reputation. More on that below…
Downside No. 2: Stuck with Sears for Warranty Issues
When you buy a Kenmore machine and it needs warranty service, it will be performed by Sears rather than the local independent servicers who usually handle warranty work for the manufacturers. How bad this is for customers varies from place to place, but in my considerable experience in dealing with folks who have been in this situation, they have had much less frustration in dealing with an OEM company compared to Sears for warranty issues.
Are they really that bad?
Sears has a reputation for slow, inconvenient scheduling and ill-trained technicians who frequently don't get the repair done correctly. OEM companies, on the other hand, tend to be much more interested in keeping their customers happy by dealing with problems promptly and fairly. We are drawing on years of feedback from customers, but, of course, your mileage may vary.
Bottom line: Sears is the only entity that really benefits from the Kenmore brand. There are no actual upsides for the customer (compared to buying an OEM brand), but there are significant potential downsides when your appliance needs to be serviced.
What to do?
Buy an OEM appliance. If you like shopping at Sears for some reason, they do offer OEM machines that you can choose. Assuming you don't fall for, er, I mean opt for, the extended warranty, then any warranty issues would be handled through the manufacturer and their local authorized servicer. And when service is needed after the warranty period, you will have many more options for service since you won't be subject to the Kenmore Information Blockade.
The Appliantology Academy
In the KSSC48QM and earlier versions "SHOW ROOM" mode was fairly obvious because the user interface display just cycles the display through all it's indicators - and, of course, the compressor never comes on.
In the KSSC48QT and brethren ... not so obvious! "SHOW ROOM" mode is entered and exited by holding "MAX COOL" and "POWER" for a few seconds. Everything acts normal except:
1. Compressor never turns on.
2. You CANNOT enter diagnostic mode.
Don't replace this $9000 refrigerator because the control board is NLA and it happens to be programmed for "SHOWROOM" mode!!!!
We're seeing a lot of these controls come thru the shop these days, almost always with real problems, but once in a while the re-installer gets stumped by inadvertently entering showroom mode.
Happy New Year to y'all!
Source: Kitchenaid Built-in Fridge - Remember SHOW ROOM mode
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